Lights! Camera! ACTION!

That’s right! Filming has started on the newest short-film coming from St. Louis Dad and his tiny cast and crew. This time we are picking up where Jason Beware ended. It will be our first sequel/prequel film with the premise being it starts off where the first Jason Beware ended and then quickly sends the audience back in time to learn the true beginnings of this new generation of horror.

The film is filled with an all-child cast except for one highly notable name that will be announced soon! The kids are doing everything from acting to working as the crew behind the scenes with help from myself and my amazing wife. The sequel had been in the pre-production stages for a few months before we finally got everything in place for production to begin this past weekend. We will be shooting on an iPhone and in 4K HD, and editing in Sony Vegas! We also have a sound engineers working on an absolutely spectacular sound design for this fan-film. We plan to premier later this summer for free on YouTube. Be on the lookout for more news, clips, and more for Jason Beware 2!

We shall see how everything comes together over the next few weeks of principal filming. Then it will be onto post-production where we edit it all together, put some sounds to add some depth, and of course the special effects!

Wish us luck!!!

Jason Beware 2 is being produced by Missouri Mobile Productions and is starring Alex Williams reprising his role as the deranged serial killer Jason! Abby Williams will be playing a new character Investigator Annie Summers, and of course we have plenty of supporting roles that will be announced very soon! Check out the original Jason Beware fan-film to see where it all started! I am super proud of these kids. They are working hard memorizing their lines and helping getting the sets ready to go.

Balancing Act: Handling Remote Work with Family Life

There’s bound to be some friction at the onset. When you’re doing work from home (WFH), some time or the other, family life is going to catch up on you. And it is never pretty. Indeed, it can be a tug-of-war, especially when you have toddlers at home.

But WFH is a lot better than no work at all, right? With people’s finances dwindling and mental health issues creeping up, finding work can be a monumental challenge in this COVID-19-stricken country. Luckily, many have adopted remote work. Before the virus, stats show only about 17 percent of America’s workers worked from home. Today, after the virus pummeled the Land of the Brave, that number has risen to 44 percent and rising.

That means more and more parents are juggling their acts and wearing many hats. As children are also home-bound with face-to-face classes discouraged, the home has become the center for everyone to thrive. But how do you, as parents or guardians, balance science projects and conference calls? How do you effectively spend quality time with your child as a tutor guide when you can’t even give ample time with your co-workers online?

The answer to all that is by striking a balance. You really can’t take away one from the other. As important as it is for you to help your kids grow in wisdom, the need to put food on the table is imperative. Below are helpful tips to show you how to juggle family and work responsibilities with finesse.

Factor a New Family Schedule

At the onset, it’s bound to be chaotic. With your work demanding deadlines be met and your kids doing their thing, from playtime to homeschooling to chow time, these responsibilities are bound to pull you in two different directions at the same time. Before you blow your fuse, know that you need to establish structure right from the get-go.

The first step is to set the time element. Factor a new family schedule. To do that, you need to prioritise. Start with a list if you have to. First up, the non-negotiable tasks such as eating time set a time for these things. If you feel alone, know that this task is best taken as a family. Schedule a weekly family meeting to go over key tasks.

A sample of the things you need to consider for the week ahead:

  • What assignments need to be submitted this week?
  • What role should you play in helping them submit on time?
  • What are the things they need to accomplish these tasks?
  • How much time do you need to be available to help them?

Then, of course, there’s the meal planning side and daily chores. You’ll have to factor in these things ahead of time. If your kids are old enough, you can delegate tasks such as cooking, groceries, and cleaning.

Review Daily

You need to understand that you need to take the lead in making your precious abode work. That’s the reason why doing a nightly debriefing should be a wise move. For instance, if you have a Zoom meeting in the morning, you need to ensure everyone is on the same page. That means the designated place where you’ll hold the call is reserved for your use only and that no one should be horsing around and shouting at the top of their lungs at that particular time.

In one sense, it certainly helps to have online access. For one, online sales lets you work from just about anywhere at home, be it in the attic or your garage. Apps for finding houses for sale are a good example here. Being available on your smartphone means these apps can help you find houses seamlessly in a jiffy.

Taking time to plan your day the night before is a good way to steer clear of complications. Thus, you should do this even if you’re a single mum or dad working on your own.

Dedicate Space for Work

This is a big one. The problem with your precious abode is it’s not really designed for work. It’s designed first and foremost for people to live there. So there’s the kitchen, sleeping space and all. With that said, you’d do yourself a big favour if you dedicate space solely for work.

With a dedicated space (that has a door as much as possible), you can stay focused away from the torments of home. It’s a given that if you don’t put in place appropriate distance and boundaries, you’re bound to be drowning with all sorts of complications from your family’s needs. That can be counterproductive. If not resolved, your productivity at work suffers, and with it, your job. It’s anybody’s guess what will happen next.

If you’re unsure how to get your workspace done right, learn how to have a good start.

Take Care of Yourself

All the stress at work and home can make you old in no time. Or worse, it can get you sick. And everything comes tumbling down when that happens.

Therefore, the key to your productivity is to take care of yourself. Give yourself some me-time. Observe breaks as they refresh your brain. A good start for you is to employ the Pomodoro Technique.

It’s definitely a tough act, working from home. But if you get it right, it’s actually a glorious opportunity: to earn while in the midst of people you love most.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

Gimmie Your Gold – How to Build a Leprechaun Trap

It’s that time of the year again. Where everyone is wearing green and celebrating their Irish heritage. For us, we do a little celebrating, but our biggest goal is to catch one of those darn leprechauns!

This year we decided to make a trap and see if that improves our chances any. If it does we will be sure to let you know our results and if you’re nice, maybe we will split the gold!

5 Ways to Begin Collecting Toys (and What to Collect)

Vintage toy collecting has become a window into long-forgotten childhood, a way to make a quick buck and a nostalgic’s dream. Think back to the ’70s, before Star Wars became the multi-billionaire franchise everyone knows today. Kids would play with cheap, plastic figurines; toys were tossed into the trash or donated. These little Star Wars figurines, GI Joe Dolls, Hot Wheels cars, Cabbage Patch Kids and Strawberry Shortcake dolls are being sold today for anywhere between $100 to $16,000 on eBay, through collectible shows or auctions.

Rare and collectible toys might be too outrageous to purchase now, but have you been thinking about where to begin collecting the vintage toys of the future? 

A savvy purchaser could be buying a $10 toy today, only for it to sell upwards of $1,000 in 10 or 20 years. Toy collecting is fun, it can be inexpensive, and it can earn you some serious cash (or make a creative home display). Here’s where you can start with becoming a toy collector and knowing what to collect:

Pick a Toy Line

It can be daunting knowing where to begin with collecting. There are plenty of toy lines that have already drawn a collector community: Star Wars, Barbie, G.I. Joe, Polly Pocket, Care Bears, Transformers, and many other brands are insanely popular toys. You can invest in the rare editions released every once in a while or whatever is on the market currently.

Maybe you can take a risk on a toy line. The transforming Donnie toy figure, for example, or the hatching toothless baby dragon at Target might be a good place to start. Think about Littlest Pet Shops, Pokemon, Digimon cards and Bratz dolls– these were all brand new lines of toys no one had ever heard of. You never know who will be interested in buying a new, mint condition toy from your collection.

Go For the Rare Finds

You want to keep an eye out for certain things when collecting toys: age, authenticity, rarity and condition. These factors can majorly appreciate a toy’s value, according to eBay’s entertainment memorabilia selling guide. A rare toy is a find that could be sold for a pretty penny, rather than a doll, toy car or action figure that everyone and their mom had at one time.

Think of the Harry Potter toy collection; maybe everyone was busy buying the Harry, Ron and Hermione figurines. How many people kept an eye on the Dobby, Draco and Hagrid figurines? 

These are toys that could have long been discontinued, but now they have become valuable finds in the toy world. Millions of Harry, Ron and Hermione figurines are produced worldwide, which makes them far less attractive to buyers. However, like the Star Wars toys made during the early 2000s in support of the new franchise, a toy line could flop. Essentially, their line of toys could become worthless. 

You want to be strategic and watch trends.

Keep an Eye on New Toys

Think of the Funko Pop Collectibles—they seem to have burst out of nowhere, even though Funko was founded in 1998, but they are on sale everywhere. Not every single Funko Pop figure is worth collecting because they are so plentiful, but some figures have minimal editions. For example, The Simpsons figures were only made for a short period of time in 2011 and they’ll now run for well over hundreds of dollars on Amazon. The Queen Amidala Funko Pop figurine sells for nearly $110 on eBay.

There are some limited edition Funko Pop figurines explicitly made for gatherings and conventions, like Comic-Con, which are rare collectible finds by the end of the day. The more you begin to collect, the better you will understand the value of certain discoveries and memorabilia. 

Hold Onto Unopened Toys

If you plan to eventually sell your toy collection, there is one important rule you must keep in mind: a toy is worth the most in excellent condition, secure in its original packaging. Toys that have been pulled from their original packaging are called “loose toys,” or “loose in the box,” which refers to an opened box without the toy being removed.  

If you have a child who wants to play with the toy, it would be best to buy two of the same toys. This way, you can leave one toy pristine and untouched in its packaging, and your child has a new toy to play with!

Which Toys are the Best Bet?It is nearly impossible to predict future trends. What you will want to focus on is popular media, like video games, movies and TV shows. If you can find memorabilia from these popular outlets, like a rare Funko Pop Grogu figurine from The Mandalorian. Some popular items might include limited-edition LEGO sets, limited edition board games (collector Monopoly, Candy Land, Life, or Sorry boards), original Minecraft or Fortnite toys, or anything similarly hard to find.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.